Monthly Archives: September 2011

Turn ‘Gudi’ into a giant spectacle, Bintulu folk told


I DARE YOU: Dr Rundi preparing his kite to face veteran kite fighter Ujang in a kite fighting competition.

BINTULU: ‘Gudi’ (kite), a traditional game played by the local people, ought to be preserved and promoted not only locally but internationally.

Assistant Minister of Public Health and Utilities Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, who officiated at the Gudi Festival at the Bintulu Old Airport site yesterday, said he believed the game could be improved upon.

“I believe the game can be improved and developed statewide so that everyone can enjoy playing the gudi (kite), while at the same
time attract tourists who might want to learn more about the traditional game,” he said.

The gudi, he noted, used to be played by the villagers and even now it remained one of their preferred games.

“We must preserve the old nostalgia of the game, its image and originality. Even with simple kite flying, it can still attract people to get together,” said Dr Rundi, who is also Kemena assemblyman.

The response to the gudi festival this year, organised by the Bintulu Kite Flyers, was overwhelming, and thus he hoped that it could be organised in other parts of the state as well.

The festival is a preliminary event to the 7th Borneo International Kite Festival to be held from Sept 22 to 25.

Also present at the function were Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) deputy chairman Dato Seri Celestine Ujang Jilan and BDA general manager Datu Mohidin Ishak.

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‘Promote Gudi Festival all over the state’


BINTULU: The Gudi (kite) Festival is a crowd-puller, and hence it should be organised all over the state.

Deputy chairman of Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) Dato Seri Celestine Ujang Jilan said yesterday that he hoped other bodies would come forward and organise the festival in their respective areas to help promote the game statewide.

“I hope the Tourism Ministry will look into it and plan it accordingly to get the involvement of other cities, probably by organising the event on a rotation basis,” said Ujang at the opening ceremony of the Gudi Festival at Bintulu Old Airport yesterday.

He revealed that since Miri had sent the biggest contingent to the festival this year, the festival was scheduled to be held in Miri next year.

“However, Bintulu remain ever ready to host the event to promote the town and what it can offer,” he said.

A total of 156 participants are joining in the festival which was officiated at by Assistant Minister of Public Health and Utilities Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.

When it was first introduced in 2009, there were only 50 participants. Last year, there were about 120 participants.

Ujang said he was happy with the overall response as it meant that interest in kite flying was fast catching up, not only here but in other parts of the state as well.

Foreign kite enthusiasts set to wow at festival


BINTULU: The 7th Borneo International Kite Festival (BIKF), which will be held from Sept 22-25, will see 84 kite enthusiasts from 22 countries converging at the Bintulu Old Airport site.

BIKF, which was first held in 2005, is jointly organised by Bintulu Kite Flyers and Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) in collaboration with the Tourism and Heritage Ministry and Tourism Ministry with support from Sarawak Economic Development Corporation.

BDA, in its effort to cement its relationship with members of the public and the participants, has created a mascot aptly named ‘Sanai Vaie’.

Sanai is a Bintulu boy who loves kite flying.

He wears a green overall and a stripped green cap, representing the freshness of nature.

He sometimes carries his Sarawak flag-inspired kite to show off to his friends and family.

This year he will be the ambassador for BIKF.

Sanai Vaie will be making a few appearances in and around town and will be looking for friends to come join him at the festival this week.

The introduction of this mascot is just another step in making the BIKF well received and fresh every year.

The idea of organising BIKF was first mooted by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Bintulu was chosen as a venue after considering its great potential after the old airport was closed down, making the basic infrastructure left behind an ideal and perfect site for such an event.

Its location that is not far from the seaside gives rise to a constant flow of wind which keeps the kites in the air.

The highlights of the festival includes World Kite Fighting Championship, national-level contemporary and traditional kite flying display, international kite flying display, kite-making workshop for the public and Rokakku (Japanese-origin kite) challenge.

The public will also be treated to a showcase of Stunt Kite and Revolution Kite.

Other side activities include children colouring contests, cultural show, trade and food fair, and a week-long trade and expo.